March 29, 2010 / 2:01 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Apple's iPad to hit Apple, Best Buy stores April 3

NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - Shoppers can buy Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPad computer this weekend at Apple and Best Buy (BBY.N) stores, Apple said on Monday, one day after noting that some online buyers must wait a bit longer for the highly anticipated device.

Shares of Apple jumped to an all-time high of $233.86 in early trading on Monday amid signs of strong demand for the tablet computer, whose retail sales start early on April 3.

Analysts have said that Apple has had some difficulty ramping up iPad production due to issues in its supply chain, but that several hundred thousand have already been ordered.

Apple said versions of the device with Wi-Fi wireless Internet capabilities will be available in all 221 U.S. Apple retail stores and most Best Buy stores, for prices ranging from $499 to $699. Models using 3G wireless systems will hit stores in late April.

Apple on Sunday said that shipments of iPads for its most recent online orders will not begin until April 12. Customers who placed their orders early will still get their devices by about April 3, an Apple spokesman said. [ID:nN28219417]

The slight delay in shipping suggest that the company may have sold out its initial inventory.

The 9.7-inch touchscreen iPad, the most anticipated product launch from Apple since the iPhone in 2007, is designed to surf the Web, play video and games, and read digital books. (Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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